In response to a question posed by fans, Baltimore cornerback Marlon Humphrey tried to provide some insight into the Ravens’ mindset heading into Sunday night’s NFL playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I want to give a quote (cornerback) Marcus Peters said, but it wouldn’t be family,” Humphrey said during an appearance on “1-on-1 at the Castle,” a video series on the NFL team’s official website. “But I’ll give a quote that (linebacker) Roquan (Smith) said: We’re on the job. I believe I know what that means. But what does it mean, I would say – I don’t even know what it actually means. But it sounded cool when he said it, and I felt it.
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“And we’re riding behind him, and I guess the mindset is you’ve got to attack those guys. They obviously have crazy talent there, so it’s kind of like you have to – you’re going to win some, you’re going to lose some. You’re just trying to gain more than you lose.
“It should be good. Sunday night football here is like a dream. The first round of the playoffs, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Baltimore has one win and one loss with the Bengals this season. The Ravens beat Cincinnati 19-17 on Oct. 9, and the Bengals beat Baltimore 27-16 a week ago in the regular season finale.
The Ravens will play a three-game set against an AFC North rival for the first time since defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-17 in the first round of the 2014 AFC Playoffs. Baltimore also split with Pittsburgh during the regular season.
“They just know you and you know them,” Humphrey said. “They will do something a little different; we’re going to do something a little different. But the core values remain the same. It’s getting fun. There’s a little bit of beef, there’s a little bit of beef, a little bit of pushing and shoving, so it kind of makes your love for the game really show, and I think that’s what makes it so exciting.”
After finishing last in the AFC North for three straight seasons, Cincinnati won the division for the second year in a row in 2022. The Bengals won the conference championship last season and went 12-4 in the regular season this season.
“In my first five years, Pittsburgh was the team to beat,” Humphrey said. “In years past, the Bengals were the team to beat. It’s a renewed rivalry, and to play them three times, I think it’s pretty fun for both sides.”
The Ravens and Bengals square off on Sunday at 7:15 PM CST at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. NBC will broadcast the game.
When Baltimore beat the Bengals in October, Lamar Jackson played quarterback for the Ravens. But the former NFL MVP missed the final five games of the regular season with a knee injury, and Baltimore went 2-3 in the series.
A shoulder injury kept Jackson’s backup, Tyler Huntley, from playing in the regular season finale against Cincinnati. The Ravens’ injury report lists his playing status for Sunday night’s game as questionable, although he participated fully in Friday’s practice.
Anthony Brown is next in line again if Huntley is unable to play. Brown completed 19 of 44 passes for 286 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions against the Bengals last week in his second NFL game and first start.
“You win or you lose,” Humphrey said. “I personally just don’t like to lose. As if what drives me is not loss. As if winning is cool: Yes, we won. But don’t lose it like: Hrvmmp. Live to see another day. Because I associate loss with failure, so I don’t think failure is the biggest thing for me. That’s what drives me every day to be a good player and, ultimately, to win a Super Bowl.”
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Humphrey was a three-time All-State football player at Hoover High School and the Buccaneers won the AHSAA Class 6A football titles in 2012 and 2013. Humphrey also won six individual state championships in track with the Buccaneers.
Humphrey played on Alabama’s CFP National Championship team for the 2015 season and was a Football Writers Association First Team All-American selection for the 2016 season before entering the NFL as the 16th overall pick in the 2017 draft.
With the Ravens, Humphrey was a three-time Pro Bowl nod, including this season, and was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2019.
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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.